The Biden administration is focusing its efforts on strengthening vaccine confidence in “white conservative communities” by promoting the vaccine on NASCAR, the country music television channel and shows like “Deadliest Catch,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
At a White House press briefing on Monday, a reporter asked what efforts were being taken to push vaccines in rural states like Mississippi, Ohio and Oklahoma where they were “having a hard time getting folks vaccinated.” The reporter cited that vaccination rates were only at 34% in these states.
Psaki said a large number of steps were being taken to strengthen vaccine confidence in “the highest-risk and hardest-hit communities” such as “conservative communities, white evangelicals.”
“We’ve run PSAs on ‘The Deadliest Catch,’ we’re engaged with NASCAR and Country Music TV,” Psaki said.
“We’re looking for a range of creative ways to get directly connected to white conservative communities. We won’t always be the best messengers, but we’re still trying to meet people where they are, but also empower local organizations,” she continued.
A recent poll by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation found that Republicans and white evangelical Christians were most likely to refuse the Covid vaccination with almost 30% of each group saying they’ll “definitely not” get vaccinated.
Many are worried that this will impact herd immunity.
President Joe Biden announced a $10 billion investment in March to strengthen “vaccine confidence” in hardest-hit, highest-risk communities.
$3 billion went to strengthening vaccine confidence, according to a White House briefing.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.
Folks, vaccination requirements work. pic.twitter.com/XuBsOQxGaN— President Biden (@POTUS) October 9, 2021
Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”
Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.
Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”
Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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